Strength-Based Education Advocates
Judy Blakeney is an English and Career Technical Education (CTE) teacher at Aliso Viejo Middle School in the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) where she has served for the last 3 years. During the 2018-2019 school year, she earned her district a $5,000 grant titled, “Prepare for the Future: Coding and Career Focused Education,” to support the strength-based work in her middle school CTE classroom.
Mrs. Blakeney adds value to her work with students by volunteering as a CUE affiliate. Specifically, she focuses on her strength-based talent of being a lifelong learner. She volunteers for the nationally recognized organization, Computer Using in Education (CUE), through experiential learning opportunities. She serves as the #CUEchat Coordinator, organizing CUE’s weekly Twitter chat that supports CUE’s Leadership, Rockstar, Affiliates, Learning Networks, and Authors connection with CUE members. HEr work with CUE propels her to a special place with her students.
Mrs. Blakeney is a Google Education expert. As a Google Innovator and Trainer, she enjoys exploring ways to support innovative, interactive, and learner-centered professional learning. Her Google Innovator project, StrengthBasedEDU provides professional learning for teachers focusing on their own and students’ strengths, using technology tools like Thrively, Flipgrid, and Google Sites for student digital portfolios.
Mrs. Blakeney actively serves in the California Teachers Association (CTA) through the Instructional Leadership Corps (ILC) and Institute for Teaching (IFT).
Mrs. Blakeney is pursuing a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Technology at Boise State University, currently working on her dissertation focused on use of Twitter for educator professional learning.
She holds strengths and assets that include lifelong learner, design thinking innovator and technology-focused teaching. A Google Innovator. A future schools ambassador. And, the list continues.
Mrs. Blakeney is a passionate educator, motivated to support and encourage learning for all students using a strength-based approach. Her passion stems from being an adoptive parent to two children, each with different learning needs and challenges.
Please feel free to contact Judy on Twitter @judyblakeney. Whether the contact is to build your professional learning network or schedule a complimentary professional development at your next staff development, Mrs. Blakeney is eager to connect!
Tricia (Hyun) Gee, Ed.D.
Tricia Gee is a part-time AP Language and Composition, English Language Arts Honors, and PATHfinder teacher and a part-time Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) in the Fullerton School District where she has served since 2006.
She started her #StrengthBasedEDU journey in 1998 when she graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics and English Literature. While working on a teaching credential and a Master's degree at Claremont Graduate University, Dr. Gee became very interested in student-centered, constructivist approaches for teaching and learning. She continued her studies at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) where she earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a dissertation entitled "Middle School Girls: Perceptions and Experiences with Robotics".
Throughout the years, she has committed to working with children, adults, families, and communities to embrace the strength-based framework. In 2015, she joined the Instructional Leadership Corps (ILC) where 250+ teachers across California instruct teachers on instructional shifts in education. In 2016, as an active participant with California Teachers Association's (CTA) Institute for Teaching (IFT) Think Tanks, she worked side-by-side with several strength-based educators in South Orange County, focusing on the social-emotional well-being of students.
Over the last 10 years, Dr. Gee raised over $80,000 in grant monies for her district, and she is passionate about sharing the joy of raising money for student achievement.
She holds Thrively strengths and assets that include verbal, creative thinking, resilience, and focus. She holds Gallup Strengths that include intellection, achiever, maximizer, adaptability, and connectedness. She excels in the area of student empowerment, student "Victor Mentality" (Schroeder, 2019), and student voice. She is a Thrively.Com advocate.
Dr. Gee is eager and excited to work with families and students on strength-based approaches. Whether a community, family, or student(s) is looking for support in the area of social emotional growth, academic achievement, or personalized teaching and learning programs, she is ready to share her expertise.
Please feel free to contact Dr. Gee:
Work Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Email: email@example.com
Teacher Interview Podcast: Passion Based Life
Educator Magazine Article: Gamification in the Classroom